It’s a cinematically horrifying Halloween 🎃 and there’s a movie-like monster lurking in your kitty litter! 🎬 This week you’ll hear the scary science behind toxoplasma gondii, a mind-controlling cat parasite! 🦠 Biologist Sebastian Lourido helps us tell the true tale of toxoplasma’s quest for cat domination, and what scientists are doing to stop the parasite in its banana-shaped tracks. 🐱
Learn more about Sebastian and his research in our bonus interview extra on Patreon!
MEET OUR FEATURED SCIENTIST
Sebastian Lourido is an associate professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Whitehead Institute. Sebastian and his team research the vulnerabilities of parasites and harness them to help treat infectious diseases.
Here's a TEDxYouth talk where Sebastian discusses his journey into science and what he does now:
As you learned in the episode, toxoplasma gondii is no joke! Here's a SciShow video that also discusses science's new favorite villain:
You might have been wondering about toxoplasma gondii's banana shape and interesting movement. Here's a video of them moving around:
Believe it or not, there are more parasites like toxoplasma gondii out there. You heard right: more small, mind-controlling parasites are out there! Here's a TED-Ed video that takes a look at them: